Anyone interested can
dip into any of the following sessions:
1 Recap of the aims of philosophy and some previous topics.
2 Ayn Rand--objectivism and does man need values and why?
3 Karl Marx--the forgotten philosopher with the big impact.
4 Aristotle--he defined western thought.
5 Stanley Milgram--the perils of obedience.
6 Immanuel Kant--the most influencial philosopher of modern times.
7 John Dewey--pragmatism and how to find the truth.
Other topics to follow.
Topics covered by the group since its formation:-
Philosophy--its origins and objectives,
Jeremy Bentham--the greatest happiness principle,
Rights--where do they come and who is entitled to them?
Freedom--to do what?
Free will--is there such a thing?
Education--what is it, what is its purpose?
Decartes--I am awake or dreaming and the proof of God,
Eugenics--origins, purpose and the morality issue,
The ethics of a child sufering from Diamond Blackfan Anæmia
and the moral issues involved in the subsequent treatment.
Jean-Paul Sartre--Hell is other people,
A positive mental attitude.
The group met on Mon 30 Nov and
the topic was Aristotle.
Aristotle is not just an essential figure in the evolution of Western
thought--he defined it. In his time he disussed 'every' subject
available. Today when we discuss topics such as monarchies,
oligarchies, tyrannies, democracies, republics, ethics, we are deeply
influenced by Aristotle. He asserted that nature works for a
or to fulfil and things develop into a recognizable form. This is
approach to ethics that studies actions in relation to ends or
utility. Aristotle taught that to achieve the good life, one must
the balanced life and avoid excess. This balance, he taught,
among different persons and situations, and exists as a golden mean
between two vices--one an excess and the other a
ladies were pleased to hear that he believed that a society cannot be
happy unless women are happy too. However their views changed
commented that females could not be fully human. Aristotle's
of procreation is that of an active, ensouling masculine element
bringing life to an inert, passive, lumpen female element stupidly
content with a life regarded as intellectually empty and socially
inferior. I wonder how he would regard women today?
At our next meeting, 1 Feb, we will discuss Obedience in the context of
inflicting pain and the concept of Conformity.